It all started with one of the sweetest proposals ever. Well, actually, it started in an LSAT prep course, but when it came time to get down on bended knee, this groom surprised his bride with a meaningful moment she will NEVER forget. Follow that up with a vintage-inspired love fest overflowing with gorgeous details (think Beacon Lane invites and a stunning Johanna Johnson gown from Gabriella New York) and it’s a happy, happy Wednesday. See it all captured by Kelly Kollar in THE VAULT.
From the Bride… Randy and I met in law school. Technically, Randy noticed me first in our LSAT prep course (when I was in college) but he didn’t tell me that until the night of our first kiss. We became friends when interning together and started dating our last year of law school.
Randy proposed in our apartment after we finished decorating our Christmas tree. I was very close with my grandmother and she passed away right before Thanksgiving in November 2014. We had been at my parents’ house for the week helping with the arrangements and services. When we traveled back to Hoboken that Sunday, Randy suggested that, to cheer me up, we get our Christmas tree a little early (he knows how much I love a real tree in the house). All of our Christmas ornaments are from my grandma – who had been buying me collectible dollhouse and Barbie ornaments since I was born. She had also been buying Yankees and Giants ornaments for Randy since we started dating. We decorated the tree with each of her ornaments as a tribute to her. When we were done, I went to the bedroom to get something and when I came out, Randy was kneeling in front of the tree. The proposal was private, personal, and perfect.
We began to plan the wedding a month or so later. Because we wanted a summer or fall wedding, we thought we would have trouble finding a venue so put that first on our list. I had originally envisioned an outdoor wedding with a big tented reception complete with “twinkly lights.” However, I was nervous about the unpredictable weather and no contingency plan for rain. However, after one look at Hamilton Farm, we didn’t have to worry about that. Hamilton Farm not only has a beautiful mansion, but also a large addition with floor to ceiling windows and a beautiful tent swept under it for the reception. The mansion, lawns, patio, and tent provided every element we were looking for no matter the weather (as it turns out we had picture perfect weather on our wedding day). I knew that “getting ready” with my mom and bridesmaids would be almost as fun as the wedding itself and the mansion’s bedrooms and “drawing room” provided the perfect backdrop for a beautiful morning (and beautiful photos!) with my favorite girls.
The dress was probably my favorite part of wedding planning. I booked a weekend of appointments at various NYC bridal salons and my bridesmaids, mom, and mother in law all took turns coming to appointments. I have been to my fair share of weddings and knew I wanted a dress that was different from those I had seen, but also classic and timeless. At Gabriella New York, I found my three favorite dresses – each was a completely different style. We left for one more appointment and then called Gabriella to see if we could come back later that evening to make a final selection. I tried on all three dresses again and knew that the Johanna Johnson dress would be the one. I loved the classic, almost regal front of the dress contrasted with the low sweeping back. The Gabriella staff was amazing and let us hang in their beautiful loft for hours toasting to the final dress selection. I don’t think I took the dress off the whole time.
Once we had the venue and I picked my dress, the wedding began to take on an Art Deco or Gatsby-esque feel. Everything fell into place – invitations, flowers, bridesmaid dresses. I chose a muted color palette of blush pinks and subtle grays. The bridesmaids wore blush dresses from BHLDN and the groomsmen wore gray suits from Ralph Lauren, where Randy works.
Hamilton Farm provided the perfect backdrop for an elegant affair, but also allowed us to add our own personal touches to the day. For example, knowing that our 4-year-old ring bearer was a little shy and loved all things power wheels, we had him drive down the aisle in his new F150. He definitely stole the show. My favorite moment of the wedding was probably watching Randy perform The Humpty Dance onstage with our band.
About two hours into the reception my best friend grabbed me from the dance floor and told me to “stop and look around.” I was so happy I did. Seeing the dance floor filled with all the people we love the most dancing, singing, and enjoying the wonderful party that we somehow pulled off was definitely a magical moment. I know time is precious at every wedding, but I would encourage all brides and grooms to take a quiet moment together to step back and take a good hard look at the culmination of all their hard work.